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QUARANTINE TIMES: PAIN IN THE BUTT!

Updated: Aug 6


Sometimes, there are unexpected circumstances that we could never have prepared for. The Coronavirus pandemic is one of those circumstances. We don’t know what is going to happen next. We don’t know if we will contract the virus, and we don’t know when the quarantine will end. I have tried to capture this feeling of uncertainty with a story provided by James Rada, foster parent, and a journalism professor at Ithaca College, New York.

“The winter of 2011 was a very rough winter, and a couple of times while I was walking[the dogs], I fell on my butt”, James confided. He decided to go to the doctor, because the pain was so bad that he couldn’t even walk up inclines.


“The doctor prescribed that I go to a physical therapist,” he remembers. James was almost willing to do anything to relieve the pain in his lower back, and going to a therapist didn’t seem a bad idea. When he met the therapist, James soon discovered that he was an ex-marine as well—a very unusual combination. James felt a little strange asking this man to “rub my butt” but the pain overrode his reservations.

“You’re gonna need about three treatments.” the massage therapist told James. “You’re gonna hate me for two of the treatments, but love me for the third," he continued matter-of-factly. The massage therapist explained that he would have to massage James's butt and then make his way down the leg in order to relieve the compressed nerve. He also promised that the first two treatments were going to be so painful, that James would squeal in pain. Filled with dread James prepared himself for the worst. However, midway through the third treatment, James felt euphoric. The crippling pain had vanished as if it had never been there to begin with and he was left with a serotonin high.


All this to say that, it’s okay to feel uncertain about what is going to happen next, and your solutions aren’t always going to appear in a linear order. There are going to be multiple times in your life when you feel like you don’t know how the pain of a present situation can ever be relieved. But if we stop stressing and accept the good times with the bad, maybe even reach out to friends, family, and counselors depending on the type of help we need, we can survive this crisis and come through healed.

~~ Prof. James Rada, interviewed by Constantina Butler (Class of '23)

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